March 8 - 20, 2012


$2400 est. pp/do + air

              SOUTHERN  CALIFORNIA   

a NEW Earth View Itinerary.....You'll definitely FIND FAULTS with this tour!

Some of the world's best geology and scenery is located in Southern Cal! 

We'll start at San Diego's scenic coast, head east into the beautiful California desert, and then circle back to San Diego via Los Angeles.  We'll explore some amazing State and National Parks.......See Below.


Day 1 --  Arrive San Diego for next 4 nights.  Lodging in the beautiful San Diego waterfront district. 

Day 2 --  Free day to explore this interesting city from our convenient waterfront hotel. 

Day 3 --  Coastal explorations to nearby La Jolla where seals and sea lions are in residence, then on to Point Loma, an amazing spot overlooking the Pacific where we will also experience the full moonrise as the sun sets. Magical!

Day 4 --8  The world-class San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park museums are our destination. 

Days  5, 6, 7  --   The next 3 nights will be in Borrego Springs,  at the Borrego Valley Desert Inn, an exclusive small resort surrounded by the magnificent desert landscape of Anza-Borrego State Park (which is the size of Rhode Island!).  Lots of great explorations over the next two days.  Slot canyons, palm tree oases, steep mountains, all record amazing geology stories preserved in stone.

Day 8  --  It's a short jaunt to Palm Springs for next two nights.  The road borders the Salton Sea and the San Andreas fault is underground here, too.  We'll take the Mt. San Jacinto mountain tram ride to this high altitude view over the desert mountains.  Thursday is "Farmers Market" night along Palm Springs' main street.  You have to see this!

Day 9 --13 --  Today we head to Joshua Tree National Park with walks and views of amazing mountains of eroding granite.  Yes, there's lots of weirdly shaped Joshua trees, too.

Days 10 - 13 --  Saturday  Our destination:  the Queen Mary!  We will have excellent rooms on this historic ship berthed in Long Beach.  What a treat to relive the grand days of cruising without leaving port.  We will have a sumptuous Sunday Brunch in the Grand Ballroom.  From this convenient base, we will explore Catalina Island, the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula, and the interesting city of Long Beach with its world class Aquarium of the Pacific.

Day 14 --  Today we head back to San Diego, with lunch at the oldest building in California: the San Juan Capistrano Mission.  Arrange your return plane flight for the evening or after an optional night in San Diego, on Day 15, Thursday, Jan. 19.


COST   -- approximately $2400 per person, double occupancy.  Please note: our tours have excellent lodgings and are typically at least 30% less than "big" tour companies.  Look below for what you get!

Details:  Tour price includes hotels and rental vehicles, tour guide, pre and post-trip meetings, guidebook, and video record of trip.  You will have to sign a tour liability waiver.  We have volunteer tour-member drivers for our rental vehicles, usually 7 passenger mini-vans with 4 passengers.  We arrange the maximum liability coverage for the rental vehicles.  Not included are:  Airfares, food, entrance fees, parking fees, vehicle gas.  The group will split the cost for gas and parking.

Your Tour Leader:  Prof. Richard Little began leading geology-oriented vacation-field trips in 1981 after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, as a way to have small groups see and appreciate the great wonders of our Earth.  Over the past 30 years he and his wife, Suzanne, have planned and guided “Fantastic Landscape Tours” from Alaska and Hawaii to Yellowstone and the Caribbean.  Dick has BA and MA degrees from Clark and the Univ. of So. California in Los Angeles, and has taught geology and oceanography at Greenfield Community College since 1969.  He is the author of two books and two videos about Connecticut Valley geology, and has been elected to the Mass. Science Educators Hall of Fame.  Suzanne is a retired social worker and former educator, with a love of landscapes and flowers.

TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE(S)     Send $500 per person deposit to


Please contact RICHARD D. LITTLE for more information. 

phone: 413.527.8536      email:


Payment schedule:   $500 deposit, fully refundable until September 1st. 

$50 per person administration fee for cancellation after September 1st.

Final Payment due October 1st.




                   Granite Erosional Patterns        

            Mila Zindova, Wikipedia image, Joshua Tree National Park

The 15 room Borrego Valley Inn situated on

   10 acres  adjacent to Anza-Borrego State Park

Final Note:  We did this trip in January of 2011 and it was such a success that we are offering it again in 2012.  There is perhaps no better winter itinerary than this!  Enjoy the warm, quiet drama of the desert and the cool wave-crashing excitement of the California coast.  Wow!  The stories in the landscape are indeed fantastic.  Please join us.  Other trips in 2012:  Mid-June -- Iceland;  Mid-August --  National Parks Tour from Z to A....that's Zion to Arches (as well as Grand Canyon's North Rim, Rocky Mountain N.P., and others).  See our web site for more information or call or email.  We wish you "happy trails" through Earth's Fantastic Landscapes!     Are you on our email list?